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Friday, July 16, 2004

Pretty funny

Even as the UN is busy condemning Israel,  a study by their Development Program
 finds Israel the best country to live in -  in the Middle East
Reuters/International Herald Tribune:      According to the UN Development Program's annual Human Development Index, released Thursday, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands ranked as the best five countries to live in.
The United States was ranked in eighth place, a drop of one position from 2003 in the report that rates not only per-capita income but also educational levels, health care and life expectancy in measuring a nation’s well-being.
In the Middle East, Israel led the list in 22nd place, followed by Cyprus in 30th place, Bahrain, 40; Kuwait, 44; Qatar, 47; UAE, 49; Libya, 58; Oman 74; Saudi Arabia, 77; Lebanon, 80; Jordan, 90; Tunisia, 92; Palestinian territories 102; Syria, 106; Algeria, 108; Egypt, 120; Morocco, 125, and Yemen, 149.

Who would have imagined that the Palestinian terrortories were not the worst place in the world to live?  Tell that to James Bennet;  the second installment of his "People Adrift" is published in today's New York Times --  3,918 words in addition to the 3,752  from yesterday - almost 8,000 total -  about Palestinian suffering.  Notice that the sequel article, at least in the online version, is accompanied by this photo and caption.

MARTYRS: Nidal Farahat at her
home, where a lighted poster is a
memorial to two of her sons who
died in suicide missions against
Israelis. Such posters are common
 throughout the Gaza Strip.

Pardon me, but those "suicide missions" were not simple suicides; they were  missions of mass murder. And her sons didn't just "die"  . . .   they didn't quietly pass away from heart disease or cancer ... they blew themselves up, on purpose, to murder as many Jews as possible.  They did so voluntarily and no doubt, ecstatically. 
I guess the New York Times in general, and James Bennet is particular, are reluctant to make value judgements about other peoples' ethics, or so they must think.  But in taking such a "relative" position, they do make a value judgement:  

Jewish lives are not worth mentioning
 even in the context of their own murders.



Update - Not really an update so much as a postscript.
I just have to point out that, near the end of this article, Bennet has the nerve (and or the ignorance or stupidity)  to quote a Palestinian quoting "a Koranic verse that he said explained why, after escaping Egypt, the Jews wandered in the desert for forty years before reaching the land of Israel."
Do you see the crazy incongruity, the veritable irony, of this? 
You have a Palestinian,  the Koran,  and Bennet,  all referring to the Jews "reaching the land of Israel"  3000 years ago  . . . as truth, a fact, a fait accompli. . .  
And yet, we're supposed to believe that the Jewish presence there today constitutes an "occupation" of someone else's land.  (Bennet must use the term "occupation" a dozen times in the two parts of this article.)
Some twist of logic, eh?
NB: According to CAMERA,
The New York Times, one of the most influential newspapers in the world, affects not only its readership's perception of world events (daily circulation is about 1.6 million), but also has  significant impact on the news judgement and editorial perspective of other media. The caliber of accuracy, balance and thoroughness in this publication are, therefore, of particular importance.

Daniel Okrent, ombudsman or "public editor," for the NY Times
James Bennet, Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the NY Times